How to Save Money So You Can Go Green!

This post about how to save money so you can go green has been sponsored.  All opinions are my own. When my husband and I started out on our life together, we were not exactly rolling in money.  As a grad student,  my husband was paid a pitiful salary to spend 80 plus hours a week in the lab.  I didn't earn much more at my own job, either.  But, thankfully, we didn't have a lot of needs, either.  We paid the bills, fed ourselves, and and tried to stay out of debt. When he graduated and we had kids,  we still didn't have much money.  … [Read more...]

Creative Uses for Lemon Balm When it Takes Over Your Garden!

Several years ago I decided I wanted to grow lemon balm.  Great idea, right?  Well, now I am constantly looking for new uses for lemon balm because the stuff is growing like a weed and taking over the back of my house.  Seriously.  Why can't I get my cucumbers and squash to grow like this?   Growing lemon balm might have been a great idea but it requires near-daily maintenance to make sure it stays where I put it.  If you have a ton of lemon balm in your own yard, here are a few things I have found so far to do with it. Creative Uses … [Read more...]

Easy Ways to Thank the Military for Their Service

With the Fourth of July fast approaching, I wanted to share a few ways to thank the military for their service.  When I was growing up, my father was in the Naval Reserves.  Some of my earliest memories if him include those shiny shoes, formal navy uniform and that flat topped white hat with the black brim.  He always looked so handsome in that uniform! My dad was in the Naval Reserves for 25 years and I like to think that at some point during his service, someone stopped to say THANK YOU for the work he was doing.  I may not always agree … [Read more...]

Tips for Healthy Eating on a Low Budget

If your goals for the new year include eating healthier and saving money, these tips for healthy eating on a low budget are just what you need. My husband and I have fairly broad tastes when it comes to the foods we enjoy.  We do most of our cooking from scratch, which allows us some flexibility in terms of the ingredients we use.  Our weekends are often spent at the farmer's market or international supermarket in search of exotic sauces, spices, and ingredients to add to a new recipe.  Of course, some days we are too tired to be creative and … [Read more...]

How to Give Thoughtful Gifts for Valentines Day!

Valentine's Day is fast approaching and that means people struggling with Valentines Day gift ideas.  I see tons of adds for expensive diamond rings or huge bouquets of flowers.  Where are the ads for the thoughtful gifts for Valentines Day?  The romantic little gifts that have special meaning for only you and your partner?  I love to get thoughtful gifts that remind me of a special time in my husband and I's life together.  As the years go by, things get more and more hectic in our lives and every once in a while I want to be reminded of why … [Read more...]

Cookie Baking Tips for Beginners: For Perfect Cookies Every Time!

It's cookie season! Read through these cookie baking tips for beginners if you are new to the art of baking. When I was young, I was lucky enough to have a mom who loved to bake.  When I was about 6 or 7, I would go to school with my homemade lunch and kids would pay me a quarter just for me to give them homemade cookies from my mom.  It was quite a nice little side business for a while!  I love making cookies from scratch and am trying to instill that love of baking in my own kids. This post contains affiliate links. If you make a … [Read more...]

How to Make Homemade Soup for a Healthy Family Dinner

With the cool weather finally on its way, its time for you to learn how to make homemade soup.  Do you buy it in cans?  Or the new and trendy boxed soups?  Well, I do that occasionally, too, but if you make homemade soup, you can rest assured that you are providing a healthy family dinner with simple ingredients that YOU get to control.  Sure, you may choose to load it with cheese and cream like my homemade broccoli soup but you know what ISN'T in there?  Preservatives, artificial colors, and a huge amount of salt!  Natural ingredients are best … [Read more...]

Families Eating Dinner Together: Tips to Make it Fun and Stress Free!

Have you tried to sit down to a family dinner, only to have it be a horrible experience?  Cooking chaos, kids crying, picky eaters and a huge mess does not have to be the norm at dinner time.  I wanted to share a few tips for a successful family dinner because it is a family activity that I am incredibly passionate about.  There have been numerous studies that have shown the benefits of families eating dinner together and getting kids started young will make things easier! This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through … [Read more...]

The Importance of Sun Protection for Eyes and Choosing the Best Sunglasses

Sun protection for eyes is something we all need to worry about, no matter what your age is. During the summer, I spend a lot of time outside in the sun.  Whether it's gardening, going for a walk, or heading to the pool, if the weather is warm and the sun is bright, it's time to get out of the house.  Whenever I am outside for any length of time, I always make sure to have on sunscreen.  I slather the kids up before they hit the pool (and they complain mightily the whole time!) and my husband always puts his on when he heads out for a run.  Sun … [Read more...]

Environmental Projects for Kids that They Will Actually Enjoy Doing!

When my children were young, summer vacations were filled with educational opportunities.  We took field trips to the zoo, got educational books out of the library, and found other ways to prevent summer brain drain. I researched environmental projects for kids that would get them excited about learning.  Quite a bit of time was spent supplementing my children's education.  I chose lessons that focused on topics that I felt were important.  Art, music, the environment, and science are losing focus in our elementary schools and those are all … [Read more...]

How to Choose a Ripe Watermelon for a Sweet and Juicy Treat!

The weather here in Georgia is warming up and the pool opens in just a few weeks.  I am looking forward to BBQs, pool parties, and (of course) some fresh watermelon.  Georgia actually grows a lot of watermelon down in the south of the state.  Even though the fruit is local, I still need to know how to choose a ripe watermelon or it won't be as sweet and juicy as it should be. If you plan on picking up a whole watermelon this summer, make sure you follow these tips before you buy! This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase … [Read more...]

Family Activism and Helping Teens Make a Difference

Family activism is tough when you have kids. If you have teens, you probably realize by now that they enjoy spending their free time sleeping, eating, shopping and hanging with friends. While those are all fun pursuits for teens, they aren't what I consider great life goals.  Sleeping til noon and eating an entire bag of chips in one sitting aren't activities that are going to change the world anytime soon. I am trying to raise my teens with an awareness for social issues. While we are definitely on the 'far left' in terms of our beliefs, I … [Read more...]

6 Porch Design Ideas for Simple Outdoor Enjoyment

With the onset of spring, you might be looking for a few porch design ideas this month. One of the things I love most about visiting my parents up north is their wraparound porch. I spend my morning enjoying coffee while the birds sing and the kids sit outside slurping on popsicles in the summer heat.  We use our back patio for the same types of things.  Relaxing, enjoying nature, and spending time with family. In some areas of the country, it's porch season year-round.  For many others, porch season seems far too short. Porches are one of … [Read more...]

Sustainable Family Activites for Teaching Kids about the Environment

One day, when my son was about 6 years old, we were driving down the road and stopped at a red light.  Along the side of the road, there was a new building being built and I commented, "I wonder what they are building there".  My son answered me "Probably something we don't need".  I had to chuckle at that and it really hit home at that exact moment that my kids learn from the things I do and say.  Teaching kids about the environment is something we have to do every day by modeling sustainable behavior and explaining our choices to them in … [Read more...]

Spring Cleaning Your Office: Don’t Let It Lead to Identity Theft!

Have you started getting the itch to dust, organize and declutter your home?  When the crocuses and tulips start peeking their heads out of the ground, I know it is close to spring!  Along with the nice weather comes the open windows, the gardening, and the spring cleaning.  Each room of the house has its own set of 'chores' that I try and do once a year.  Spring cleaning your office is is a great way to prepare for tax time.   If you want to join me on my spring cleaning journey, I will include a few affiliate links for things that might come … [Read more...]

Questions To Ask Your Pharmacist for Better Health and Increased Savings

This post about questions to ask your pharmacist has been sponsored by SearchRx,  however, all opinions expressed here are my own. For 15 years I worked in a retail pharmacy.  I saw thousands of patients come and go during the time that I worked there. Some were sick, some were in a hurry, and many were dealing with cranky children.  Many of them came through the drive through and barely looked at me while I filled their prescriptions.  Far too many of them just accepted their medications without once talking to us about them.  Sure, we … [Read more...]

What to Put in Military Care Packages

Do you have a service member in your family that needs some love this holiday season?  Are you wondering what to put in military care packages? When I was little, my father was in the Naval Reserves.  I have fond memories of him in his shiny black shoes and spiffy white hat.  I was too young to understand much about war or what military men and women were dedicating themselves to.  As an adult, I have a better understanding of the sacrifices of these brave men and woman.  They dedicate so much of their lives to protecting and serving our nation … [Read more...]

Cheese Board Ideas for Delicious Entertaining Made Easy!

These cheese board ideas have been sponsored by Stella Cheese but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. Everyone has different traditions regarding the holidays.  For some people, black Friday shopping is a ton of fun.  Others enjoy caroling or Elf on the Shelf.  For me, the things that make holidays most memorable are food and family.  We just spent a week with out of town guests that we haven't seen in two years.  Our week was full of fun times and LOTS of food!  Since I have a serious cheese addiction, I will tell you right … [Read more...]

How to Prepare for Company so Your Guests Feel at Home!

Fall is finally here and the holidays are fast approaching. Now is the season for visiting friends and family and you may be wondering how to prepare for company so they feel at home during their visit.  As much as I hate to think about it, the chaos of the holidays will be here very quickly!  Shopping, baking, wrapping and holiday parties are a lot of fun but add them to an already hectic schedule and you get one really stressed out mama. One of the things I really enjoy about the holidays is having company to cook for but having house … [Read more...]